Music and sound effects are key to a great gaming experience. Gaming headsets are a little more specialized than typical headphones and having the right pair of gaming headphones can help improve your overall time spent gaming. The best gaming headphones are comfortable, sound good, and have a decent microphone. They also usually have dedicated software support, lots of active features, and have customization options. However, specialized gaming headsets can be quite bulky and the wireless models are often limited by the range of their transmitter. If you play single player games exclusively and don’t need a microphone, then most wired, critical listening headphones would be a good option too.
So far, we've reviewed 341 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets to buy in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best PS4 headsets, the best Xbox One headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.
The best gaming headset we’ve tested so far is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. It's a great gaming headset that is incredibly versatile since it uses not only a USB wireless transmitter but also supports Bluetooth. These headphones can mix audio from both wireless sources at the same time and are great for gamers who like to chat on their smartphone while gaming on their console.
These headphones have impressive sound and come with a great wireless base transmitter that has aux, USB, and optical inputs for compatibility with almost all gaming systems and home theater setups. The base transmitter also functions as a battery charging station, and they have removable batteries that can be inserted in the transmitter to be charged.
Unfortunately, these headphones don’t have native microphone support on the Xbox One. There have also been reports of issues with the microphone, especially on the PS4 and iOS. While resetting the base transmitter or allowing to PS4 to fully power cycle seems to help, it’s disappointing that they don’t provide the same level of microphone control as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC. The GameDAC edition have even more customization options, especially for the mic, but their lack of wireless connectivity makes them less versatile overall than the Arctis Pro Wireless.
If you’re an Xbox One gamer looking for a wireless headset that will work with your console of choice, then get the Astro A50 Wireless. Their battery performance isn’t as impressive as that of the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, but they provide native wireless microphone and audio support on the Xbox One. They’re very comfortable, well-built headphones that sound great and have a very good microphone for online gaming.
They come with an excellent docking station that provides various connectivity options and can even charge the headphones, but they don’t support Bluetooth. If you prefer the wireless-combo the Arctis Pro Wireless provides, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 9X, which have full wireless compatibility with the Xbox One and can also mix audio from a Bluetooth source at the same time. The 9X can only be used with the Xbox One or PC though, while we were able to use to Xbox One variant of the Astro to work with the PS4 as well. Overall, if you’re looking for well-built headphones for the Xbox One, these are hard to beat.
If you're looking for a unique soundstage experience, then consider the Audeze Mobius. They don’t have the connection options or base station of the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless or the Astro A50, but they have a unique head tracking feature and 3D audio that sets them apart. They're Bluetooth 5.0 compatible headphones that can also be used wired with the provided USB-C or 1/8” TRRS cable. This makes them a bit more versatile than typical gaming headsets, since you can use them wirelessly with your phone and still benefit from the unique soundstage features on PC.
Unfortunately, their USB connection only has full support on PC for now, though this may be updated with a software patch at a later date. Although they are comfortable, they are still somewhat bulky headphones and aren’t ideal for casual use. That said, their DSP-aided soundstage is great for gaming and can help make VR games feel especially immersive.
If you like what the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless have to offer but find them too expensive and don’t need all their endless features, get the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition. They're well-built and comfortable headphones that offer many of the same functionalities as the Pro Wireless but are quite a bit cheaper. They’re versatile enough for gaming, watching movies or even critical listening.
Like the Pro Wireless, these headphones sound great. They don’t have the same removable battery system, but they still have a great battery life of 24 hours, which should be more than enough to satisfy most gamers. Their wireless dongle provides a low latency gaming experience and has an aux input too for compatibility with most audio sources. They don’t support Bluetooth, but it’s possible to connect them to your smartphone or mobile devices with their included audio cable.
Unfortunately, they only have wireless audio and voice chat support on the PS4 and PC; not the Xbox One. They're also a bit bulkier than the HyperX Cloud Flight, which are slightly better for casual use but have fewer customization options. Overall, these are good gaming headphones that are a great lower-cost alternative.
If you like to fine-tune your gaming headphones your way, get the Logitech G933. They don’t feel as durable as the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition and their microphone doesn’t perform as well, but they provide more customization options via the Logitech G Hub, which is one of the most comprehensive and complete apps we’ve seen to date. They have three mappable buttons that can be programmed in the G Hub software to trigger virtually any command. These headphones sound good and have an outstandingly low-latency wireless connection that’s compatible with both PC and PS4.
If you’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest products, the newer Logitech G935 may be worth taking a look at since they sound better out-of-the-box. Unfortunately, they don't come with an in-line remote with call/music management controls for use while wired like the G933 do. Overall, they provide slightly better value and are worth considering for those looking for a good customizable gaming headset.
If the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition and the Logitech G935 are too expensive and you prefer a wired headset, get the HyperX Cloud II. They’re not customizable, but they make up for it with their great build quality and comfortable, well-padded ear cups. They feel sturdy and durable and come with an excellent boom mic that reproduces your voice accurately when playing multiplayer games. Also since their mic is detachable, they can look more like casual headphones when used outdoors with your mobile devices.
Unfortunately, they don’t have any customization options, but this also means there’s no battery or latency issues to worry about. If you want no-fuss gaming headphones and don’t care much for a wireless design, then these are definitely worth considering.
If you're looking for a decent gaming headset that won’t break the bank, the best budget gaming headset is the Corsair HS60. They're comfortable with large well-padded ear cups and are very well-built for the price. They have a solid metal frame and feel built to last. They have a sleek and sturdy wired design and their detachable boom microphone provides added versatility.
These headphones have a well-balanced sound, which is great not only for gaming but also if you like to just listen to music casually from time to time too. They come with a 1/8” TRRS connecter as well as a USB adapter for you to plug them into your PC. You can even customize the way they sound on PC with the Corsair iCUE software.
Although they have a decent microphone that should be alright for most gamers, the HyperX Stinger have much better mic performance. However, they don’t look or feel as premium as the Corsair for about the same price. If you like the fit and sound of the HS60 but want wireless headphones and are willing to stretch your budget a bit, consider the Corsair HS70 Wireless, but they can’t be used wired so they’re a bit less versatile.
If you’re trying to keep your peripheral expenses to a minimum, consider the Logitech G430, They’re not as well-built as the Corsair HS60 but they’re still a decent pair of gaming headphones, especially considering how little they cost. They sound good, have a decent microphone, and are fairly comfortable.
Though they do have access to some customization features through the Logitech Gaming Software, they aren’t as customizable as other models in the Logitech G series. They also feel quite cheap, especially compared to the build quality of the Corsair HS60, which often come on sale. That said, they’re still a solid pick for gamers on a budget who are looking for a low-cost headset.
If you prefer the compact format of earphones even while gaming, then the best earbuds for gaming that we’ve tested so far are the 1More Triple Driver. We haven’t yet tested any dedicated gaming earbuds, but they perform well enough overall to be a decent choice for gamers looking for something more discreet than a bulky over-ear gaming headset. They have a sleek, low-profile design with solid metal earbuds that feel well-built and come with 9 different earbuds tips to help you find the best fit possible.
Since they have a 1/8” TRRS connection, they can be plugged into any console controller without latency and their wired design means you won’t have to worry about battery life. They have great audio reproduction and a balanced sound that makes them suitable not only for video games but also listening to music or podcasts.
Although their in-line microphone has good recording quality in quiet environments, it doesn’t fare as well in loud places. They also don’t isolate as much noise as other in-ear headphones we’ve tested, so they’re best used in a relatively quiet room at home, for example. That said, they come with a couple of foam tip options that might provide better isolation performance. Overall, they’re decent earbuds for gaming, especially if you prefer something you can use casually as well.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones and the best gaming earbuds to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones that are good for gaming. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you do not care about having a microphone or wireless features.